Activist Academy  2023

In 2015, AIDS Action and Fenway Health launched Getting to Zero Massachusetts (GTZ), forming a statewide coalition of 40 organizations to achieve the aims of the Getting to Zero initiative. Since then, the Getting to Zero coalition undertook a successful statewide community engagement process to lay the groundwork for a conversation about Getting to Zero.

The Getting to Zero Coalition is excited to relaunch our 4th cohort of Activist Academy to train a team of HIV and AIDS activists in order to advocate for the community, mobilize others, and continue moving the conversation forward in Massachusetts.

Apply now and join our 2023 cohort! We’re recruiting a team of passionate, energetic, and hardworking individuals dedicated to ending the HIV epidemic to build a movement in Massachusetts that will ripple to states and communities beyond.

This program aims to develop community stakeholders and activists in educating community members in issues related to HIV prevention and access to care for those living with HIV/AIDS. The Academy will equip participants with comprehensive knowledge and the tools to engage community members and state officials, and advocate on issues related to ending the HIV epidemic.

Individuals representing the populations most deeply impacted by the HIV epidemic are strongly encouraged to apply – namely, members of the LGBTQ+ community and folks who identify as Black, indigenous, and/or a person of the global majority. We’re looking to build a cross-generational class, including long-term survivors, people living with HIV, people who use PrEP for HIV prevention, and advocates. No prior experience is necessary, only passion and a commitment to good work and service. If you have experience with HIV advocacy, this can also be a great new way to get engaged or re-energized.

The cohort theme for 2023 will be “Addressing Stigma.” The advocacy focuses for the 2023 cohort will be: sexual health education, sex work decriminalization, and housing access. Each team will be connected with a legislative bill related to their advocacy focus. Teams are tasked with creating a project that engages the community in policy awareness while advancing the goals of their advocacy focus as it relates to addressing stigma and ending the HIV epidemic.

Fellow responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Ideal candidates will:

No prior experience is necessary, only passion and a commitment to good work and serving others. If you have experience with HIV advocacy, this can also be a great new way to get engaged or re-energized.

The fellowship program will run from December 2022 to October 2023. Fellows will be compensated with partial stipends for participation throughout the duration of the program, totaling up to $4536.00 per Fellow. The deadline to apply is November 1st, 2022 by 12pm EST. Please visit linktr.ee/GTZMA for our application link.

* Must be 18+ to apply. Accepted applicants will be asked to provide a mailing address to receive payment for participation. Accepted applicants must be living in Massachusetts throughout the duration of the programming. This is a hybrid program- primarily functioning remotely, with some in-person components taking place in Boston, MA (or possibly other parts of MA depending on team projects).

For any further questions, please email Lyv Norris at anorris@fenwayhealth.org.

If you miss an info-session email Lyv for the slides!
You can still apply for the fellowship without attending an info-session.

Notices will be sent to the email on your application, if you do not receive a response please email anorris@fenwayhealth.org to confirm your email address

If we have open placements for the program:

Below are the open response questions from the application. Google Forms will not save your responses due to technology errors (i.e. lost wifi, if you get logged out of your account, etc). 

We recommend that you copy and paste the questions below into a separate document to record your answers. Once your answers are complete, you can copy and paste your answers into your application (and have a copy of your answers in case anything happens)! Only completed applications submitted with our Google Form will be accepted. Please do not email your answers.

  1. Why is addressing HIV in your community important to you? (150 words max)
  2. Why do you want to join this fellowship program? (150 words max)
  3. What skills do you possess that make you an asset to a team? What skills do you hope to grow through this opportunity? (150 words max)
  4. What skills do you possess that make you an asset to a team? What skills do you hope to grow through this opportunity as an individual (professionally or personally) AND as an advocate? (200 words max)
  5. This year we hope to establish a coaching component to the Fellowship, where Fellows will be assigned a coach to support their personal professional growth. What would matter most to you about being assigned a coach? Be as specific as you can! (200 words max)
    • Think about what experiences would be most helpful for you to learn from at this point in your journey (things like career path, relatability, demographics, etc). 
  6. What else are you involved in during Dec 2022 – October 2023? How do you plan to manage participation in the fellowship program along with your other responsibilities? Be sure to include work, school, and/or volunteer responsibilities!

Fenway Health is a federally qualified health center founded in 1971, dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of the LGBT community through access to quality health care, education, research, and advocacy. Fenway Health is also the largest non-hospital provider of HIV/AIDS medical and behavioral health services in Massachusetts.

As part of Fenway Health’s HIV/AIDS work, AIDS Action (the public health division of Fenway Health) works to stop the HIV epidemic and related health inequities by eliminating new infections, maximizing healthier outcomes for those infected and at risk, and tackling the root causes of HIV/AIDS.

In 2015, AIDS Action and Fenway Health launched Getting to Zero Massachusetts (GTZ), a statewide coalition of 40 organizations that work to achieve the aims of the Getting to Zero initiative. This initiative is part of a worldwide movement dedicated to ending the HIV epidemic, and ensuring that those living with HIV have access to HIV treatments. Getting to Zero includes a future where there is zero stigma around HIV/AIDS, zero new diagnoses, and zero AIDS-related deaths.

Since 2015, Getting to Zero MA has successfully laid the groundwork for a conversation about Getting to Zero, including hosting a hugely successful HIV Innovations in Action Conference where Senator Elizabeth Warren issued her support for the coalition. Getting to Zero MA has also successfully lobbied Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston to sign the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities so that by 2020, 90% of Boston residents will become aware of their HIV status, 90% of residents diagnosed with HIV will receive treatment with antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of those in treatment will achieve viral suppression.